Information consumption has been disrupted, only you may not be aware of it yet.

But in the very near future when you search on Bing, instead of boring text and blue hyperlinks, you may find an option to view a Qwiki as well.

No, we’re not talking about a peep show or a video of folks getting it on during lunch, but an embeddable, playable, visual and audible presentation created around your search term. Qwikis typically combine videos, images, real time tweets, maps and audio narration. Not only that, but they’re truly interactive, so if you want to know more about something you see during the presentation, you can click on it and view that Qwiki as well.

The Next Iteration of Search

“In many ways, search has remained the same for a decade: a familiar collection of links, text and, in some cases, images,” says Qwiki’s founder and CEO Doug Imbruce. Technology has so much to offer now; instead of yesterday’s search results, Qwiki offers a “search experience”.

And Imbruce isn’t the only one who think it’s time for a change, so does Bing. The search engine’s integration of Qwiki represents another step in Bing’s larger goal to make search more about doing and less about finding.


An easy way to experience your first Qwiki is to use Bing to search for “Tokyo.” The link to open the Qwiki appears just below the Wikipedia link in the search results. Click on it to experience the Qwiki.

Is this innovation a big deal? Microsoft certainly thinks so, but they’re not alone. Searching on Bing is hardly the only way that you’ll experience a Qwiki.

ABC News is now featuring playable Qwikis to provide previews to shows such as Nightline. The broadcaster’s News teams have also created Qwikis to embed within stories. An interesting example is one on the Republican Veepstakes. Give the video 30 seconds to play, then click on the candidates’ faces as they show up on the screen. You’ll be taken to another video that provides background information on the candidate.

Do a Qwiki on the iPad

Microsoft and ABC are far from the only ones who think that Qwikis are cool. Last year when Qwiki launched its iPad app it had 250k downloads in just 7 days. Some industry on-lookers have asked if it might be the next Facebook or Twitter.

Imbruce says that his goal, for now, is to just to keep building a beautiful, rich media platform that is ubiquitous (aka omnipresent, pervasive, permeating).

Or Build Your Own Qwiki

With that in mind, Qwiki opened its Qwiki Creator tool and API products to the public yesterday. The user-friendly Qwiki Creator allows anyone (no experience required) to create a Qwiki by uploading pictures from their phones and the web, linking to content from various public websites, adding voice to presentations etc… I created a Father’s Day Qwiki for my dad, with the pictures and voices of his kids in less than a few minutes.(Sorry, you can’t see my Qwiki before my dad does, but there are many Qwiki examples on the Qwiki site. The Qwiki Creator, by the way, may be a great way for businesses and brands to create and test visually compelling ads (for free).

And what of the open API? Only time will tell. But Imbruce is certain that it’s one that developers will embrace, not only because the platform is cool, but also because the time is so right. “Who wants to read text on their mobile devices?” (when they could be having a rich media experience), asks Imbruce. We know that we don’t need to educate you on the proliferation of mobile.